Jill Biden hosts White House reading for student poets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden hosted a reading by this year’s National Student Poet Group on Tuesday, allowing everyone to read their winning entry in a White House room set up to mimic a cafe.

The first lady said she herself turned to poetry to sometimes find joy in the words of others, including when she lay awake, consumed by worry or when she felt lost.

“In the words of others I found the outlines of my own joy,” she said. “I found a place to ease my fears. I found a compass that would lead me through the darkest woods. And on the page, tangled in rushing lines, in ink blots, I found myself.“

« So it’s really special to be able to welcome the National Student Poets 2022, » she said as the five high school poets sat behind her on high stools.

In the State Dining Room, books and trinkets were stacked on the mantelpiece below a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. A sandwich board advertised a poetry reading at 4:30 p.m. Votive candles flickered on round tables where some 60 diners were seated.

Ada Limón, the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States, called on each student to read her winning entry. Biden congratulated the students after the reading and hugged them all.

« We don’t just celebrate poetry, » Limón said. « We celebrate the future of poetry. »

The 2022 National Student Poets and their schools are:

—Vidhatrie Keetha, Horace Mann School, Bronx, New York.

—Emily Igwike, University School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

—Winslow Hastie Jr., Charleston County School of the Arts, North Charleston, South Carolina.

—Jesse Begay, New Mexico School of the Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

—Diane Sun, Interlake Bellevue High School, Washington.

Biden also celebrated this year’s 10th anniversary of the National Student Poet Program, which was established in 2012 to highlight the role of writing and the arts in the academic and personal success of communities across the country, the city said. White House.

It is the country’s highest honor for young poets presenting original works. Alumni from the past decade attended Tuesday’s event.

The program selects and offers scholarships each year to five student poets – one from each of the five geographic regions of the United States – to serve as literary ambassadors in their communities.


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